In Orange County, A great tragedy has occurred, and four lives are lost forever. In San Clemente, the “Great” State of California has caused the tragic death of a family. Two women with full lives, and two girls who had never yet been to school, shot dead, by the hand of one of the women. No, the deaths were not directly caused by the State. However, the investigators have pointed at a custody case as a probable factor, and anyone who has experienced these particular courts will know that the government cannot be absolved of moral fault, although neither can whichever woman made the gruesome, desperate, and selfish decision to fire that fatal shot.
According to the Associated Press, the mother was ordered to return from Texas to a California court with her Children. The bodies were found later in the same day as the hearing, a murder-suicide, and the investigators believe the child custody dispute “may have been a factor”. It's difficult to fathom anything else which could cause such anguish as to motivate this kind of horror. According to the OC sheriffs department, the four died of a single gunshot wound, which combined with the close proximity of the bodies “makes it difficult to know who pulled the trigger”. The father is not a suspect.
While it's difficult to tell what happened, even for the experts, the Mother and her Children failed to appear in court, as they had been ordered to. The mother was an Attorney, and would have known that a bench warrant would be issued for her, on the basis of a failure to appear, and there would be no bail. A woman who had spent her life working as part of the legal system, spending a few days behind bars in one of the most brutal county jails in the United States, forced to strip naked, line up, bend over, and cough, then not given her prison uniform until after a shower, a state-sanctioned initiation ritual into an environment designed to intimidate, likely to be taunted at a minimum, surrounded by those who might blame her for their own misfortune. As an attorney, she was likely familiar with dozens of lawsuits in which females had their human and civil rights violated by Officers sworn to protect them, in those exact circumstances. It was possible she might never see her children again, as the result of what could have been a timing issue. For at least a temporary period, the children would have been placed into State custody, whether or not they were returned to their father later on. Given the fact she moved several states away from him, it's hard to tell which was scarier. Perhaps she had purchased the firearm in fear of the father; it wouldn't be an uncommon behavior pattern even if the man was great enough of a guy to be canonized. For those familiar with the emotional strain caused by custody battles, and the often irrational fears of those personally involved in them, it's not hard to imagine how her fears could run wild from there, to the extent she may have been able to rationalize murder as a protective action. The fact the bodies were close together, and there was only one gunshot, suggests to this writer that when the trigger was pulled, the family was hugging one another.
California has a long history of state judgment in private and family life. In cowboy days, complaints were written of how easy divorce was, and in 1969, California passed the first no-fault divorce law in the country, which according to an article by the National Council on Family Relations changed the nature of alimony, child custody, child support, and child custody rules. Subsequently, divorce rates were so high, that the State of California eased its conscience by simply ceasing to report the divorce rate in 1980, however it has been estimated as high as 75%. There have been fierce and highly publicized political battles in recent years over whom exactly is allowed to marry, and in typical California fashion, the notion that the government need not be our nanny, need not be the party to define what constitutes loving matrimony, and need not rule our personal lives, has not entered the mainstream debate. Likewise, California has an equally long history of infringing on the basic and inalienable human right of the people to keep and bear arms, and currently has some of the most restrictive laws in the country, so while there is a possibility that those who oppose individual freedom might capitalize on this tragedy to further assault the rights of man, the fact is that it is certain that any privately owned handgun or other firearm legally owned in Texas would have required a tremendous quantity of paperwork to bring into California, and the law was likely not followed, whether out of fear, desperation, or perhaps a defiant and inspirational sense of patriotism and reverence for the Constitution of the United States of America (since the mother was an attorney, one would imagine ignorance to be highly unlikely in our imaginary yet probable scenario).
No-one can justify these terrible actions. Nothing can make these deaths any less tragic. But perhaps society can learn a powerful lesson by examining them. People from the highest walks of society, with clean backgrounds, respect for the law of the land, and an above average amount of education and intelligence, can still do horrible things, especially when backed against a wall, cornered, and with their lives and families at stake. If we allow the legal system to dictate our personal affairs, rather than being rational and compassionate adults, and putting our families and others before ourselves, then the only people who will win are those making money off misery, and no shade nor force of law can prevent any evil. Rather, government involvement has one consistent and negative consequence: Loss of Liberty, accompanied by human suffering, guaranteed by a storm of brutal force which is never too far away.